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Wellness Testing

What is wellness testing?

Wellness testing is a process of check-ups and blood tests designed to detect early or hidden disease in pets that appear to be otherwise healthy. This preventive care screening not only has the potential to uncover disease before it progresses to something painful or life threatening for your much-loved companion, but also helps you avoid significant medical expenses down the track.

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Why do wellness testing?

It’s not always obvious when your fur baby is unwell, so wellness screening tests are often recommended as part of your pet’s annual exam. If a disease can be detected before your pet shows signs of illness, steps can often be taken to manage or correct the problem before permanent damage occurs.

When is wellness testing done?

Many pet owners combine wellness testing with their pet’s annual visit to the veterinarian for physical examination, vaccination, and heartworm testing. Your veterinarian may recommend more frequent testing depending on age or specific health concerns but monitoring your pet’s health status on a regular basis makes it easier for your veterinarian to detect minor changes that signal the onset of disease.

Blood tests can be carried out during a regular consultation. A small amount of blood is collected using a syringe needle, then placed into special tubes and processed either on-site or in an external laboratory.

What tests might my veterinarian run?

Several tests are routinely performed when blood work is recommended:

  • A complete blood count (CBC) can identify infection, inflammation and anaemia.
  • A complete blood chemistry panel, including electrolytes, provides information about your pet’s liver, kidneys and pancreas as well as other functions of the body, such as blood sugar and hydration.
  • A urinalysis identifies an infection or inflammation in the urinary tract.
  • A thyroid function test detects whether or not your pet’s thyroid gland is functioning properly. Thyroid disease is very common in older cats and dogs.
  • A faecal test allows veterinarians to check your pet for intestinal parasites which may live in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Since they are usually hidden from view the only way to detect the presence of most intestinal parasites and identify them is by doing a faecal test.
  • Your veterinarian may also recommend additional tests.

Results can rule out certain diseases immediately, allowing peace of mind. However, if results are abnormal, your veterinarian is in a position to make fast decisions and you as pet parent will generally have more options given the early detection.

Prevention is proactive care and Your PetPA have developed the Thriving Pets+ wellness plan to support simple and affordable health care through every stage of your pet’s life. Including a wellness screen discount, other benefits include:

  • Free in clinic consultations
  • Free online Telehealth appointments
  • Free vaccination
  • Dental discount
  • 10% off retail
  • Educational resources
  • Preventative Package (Annually delivered to your door) - optional

Download the App HERE!

~ Dr Lachlan Campbell


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Exercising your dog

If you have a dog or puppy, or plan to get one, it’s important they get exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is not only good for their physical and mental health, but also helps them to socialise with other dogs and puppies, a crucial element of their behavioural development. And as a bonus, exercising and being active together is a great way to strengthen bonds! However, there are some safety considerations you should take into account when deciding on what exercise is best for your dog…

  • Assess the individual needs and fitness level of your dog as each will have different exercise requirements. In general, dogs need a walk or visit to the dog park once or twice a day.
  • Dogs with shorter snouts find it harder to breathe and exercise can often exacerbate their breathing difficulties.
  • Older dogs may have joint problems that can slow them down or make it uncomfortable to exercise.
  • Check the temperature outside as it is not uncommon for dogs to overheat if exercising in high temperatures. A dog only sweats through their pads and they lose body heat through panting, during the warmer months it is best to exercise in the morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler. Also remember that hot pavement or sand can burn your pet’s feet.
  • Don’t exercise your pet immediately before or after they’ve eaten as this can cause bloating, especially in deep-chested dogs.
  • Speak to your vet and get a physical assessment of you have any concerns at all.

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Exercising on lead

One of the ways you can let your dog or puppy exercise is while on the lead:

  • Walk your pet at a normal walking pace.
  • Walk your pet based on how long they should be exercising for e.g. take a puppy for short walks only.
  • Stop to rest if your pet sits or lies down during the walk, and then continue walking when they are ready to get up again.
  • Stop walking and return home if your pet seems too tired to continue.
  • Avoid over-exercising your puppy. Over-exercising puppies can negatively impact on their musculoskeletal development and this is of particular concern in large and giant breed puppies (some of the large and giant dog breeds can continue to grow up until 18–24 months of age).

Exercising off lead

Another way to let your dog or puppy get the exercise they need is while they’re off the lead running freely in a safe environment, such as your backyard or a designated dog park. This way they can regulate their own pace and the amount of exercise they get. However, don’t over exercise your pet by doing too much throwing and catching, especially if they’re still young and growing. Sometimes the temptation to chase is too strong!

General tips

  • Watch out for signs of fatigue, such as your pet panting, slowing their pace, or lagging behind you or stopping. If you notice this, allow them to rest.
  • Watch for overheating, such as your pet panting excessively, drooling, showing signs of agitation/confusion or vomiting. If this happens, move them to a cooler place and shade immediately. Apply tepid/cool water to their fur/skin, belly and under legs followed by fanning, to cool them down quickly then take them to the nearest veterinarian immediately as heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.
  • If you’re walking in the snow, avoid roads that have been treated with salt as they can sting your pet’s feet. If they lick their paws this can also upset their stomach as well.
  • Keep your pet hydrated by offering them water to drink at regular intervals during exercise and importantly, have water available for them when you get home.

Forced exercise such as the following should be avoided:

  • Jogging or running with a puppy or dog.
  • Excessive ball or frisbee throwing and catching.
  • Running your pet alongside your bike. This is against road rules in some states. In NSW, for example, the RTA states that a bicycle rider mustn’t lead an animal while the bike is moving, including by tethering.
  • Take fast paced or very long walks with your puppy.

With these tips in hand you can ensure your pet’s safety when it comes to exercise, as well as keep them healthy and happy for years to come!

~ Dr Peter Elliott

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Produced by RSPCA Pet Insurance

Ref: How To Safely Exercise Your Dog | RSPCA Pet Insurance


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Nutrition

There are many reasons why feeding your fur baby a high-quality diet is preferable… not just when it comes to what comes out the back end! Whilst we acknowledge the obvious price discrepancy, the cost of the higher quality food over the life of the pet will be offset by lower veterinarian bills with a reduced risk of health issues that are a result of improper nutrition.

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And it’s not just about maintaining a healthy weight — a balanced diet provides your pet with the right combination of nutrients. Protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water all play an important part in keeping your pet happy and healthy...

Protein: Your pet relies on the essential and non-essential amino acids found in protein as they help maintain muscles, repair cells and produce hormones and antibodies.

Fat: Fat provides much energy for your pet — more than twice the amount found in proteins and carbs! Fat also keeps skin and hair healthy, insulates the body and is necessary for absorbing some vitamins.

Carbohydrates: Carbs can get a bad rap from humans but they’re essential for healthy nutrition in your pets. These nutrients fuel your pet’s cells and provide energy. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is particularly helpful in promoting good digestion.

Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins A, D, E, and K and minerals like calcium and potassium help maintain the nervous system, boost immunity, strengthen teeth and bones, and maintain muscle health. A well-balanced diet should contain all of these.

Water: Up to 70% of an adult pet’s body weight is made up of water so it’s important your pet stays hydrated. Water plays an important role in digestion, eliminating waste, and regulating body temperature. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water.

DOGS

Tips on feeding your dog

  • Dogs need a complete and balanced diet
  • Freshwater should be available to your pets at all times, inside and out
  • Adult pets can be fed one or two meals a day
  • Puppies often need three or four small meals a day
  • Any food that is left out for long periods can grow bad bacteria, so it is recommended uneaten food be thrown away after one hour

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Home-cooked diets

There can be advantages to home-cooked meals, but they do not outweigh the disadvantages unless the diet has been put together specifically for your pet by a qualified veterinary nutritionist.

Advantages:

  • Increased palatability
  • High digestibility
  • Ability to control ingredients

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Poorly balanced i.e. lack the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals
  • Bacterial contamination of raw ingredients can affect both pets and humans
  • Bones can cause gastrointestinal obstructions, break teeth and tear the intestines

Unless you have specific recipes that have been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist, commercial diets should be considered.

Treats

Treats are a great way to help with positive reinforcement for good behaviour, but it is important to choose the right treats and to give them in moderation as each treat adds towards daily calories for your dog. Treats should not represent more than 10% of your pets’ total diet and don’t forget that affection is just as effective and appreciated as an alternative to food treats!

Good treats:

  • Dried liver treats
  • Dog-approved biscuits for dogs
  • Dog dry food
  • Natural popped popcorn
  • Puffed rice

Overweight pooches can still enjoy the occasional treat:

  • Green beans are low calorie and high in fibre
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Chickpeas
  • Carrot

CATS

Tips on feeding your cat

  • Cats need a complete and balanced diet
  • Freshwater should be available to your pets at all times, inside and out
  • Adult pets can be fed one or two meals a day
  • Kittens often need three or four small meals a day
  • Any food that is left out for long periods can grow bad bacteria, so it is recommended uneaten food be thrown away after one hour

Feeding tips to help reduce boredom and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Feed smaller meals throughout the day
  • Maintain a feeding schedule
  • Hide dry food around the house
  • Use food contraptions
  • Encourage the cat to chase after dry food

Tips to help feed a picky eater:

  • Picky eaters can develop if a cat is fed a single food item over a long period of time with little variety. To avoid this, it is important to expose a cat to a variety of flavours, textures and sizes of food.
  • When modifying a diet, always make a gradual change and if your cat refuses to eat for over 24 hours, seek veterinary attention.
  • Cats only have around 400 taste buds - compared to dogs at 1,700 and people at 9,000. Because of this, cats rely on their sense of smell to determine the taste of food. If the cat’s diet lacks smell or if the cat has the flu, try warming the meal to enhance the smell.

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Treats

It is important to choose the right treats and to give them in moderation as each treat adds toward daily calories for your cat. Treats should not represent more than 10% of your pets’ total diet and don’t forget that affection is just as effective and appreciated as an alternative to food treats!

Good Treats:

  • Dried liver treats
  • Cat-approved biscuits
  • Cat dry food
  • Natural popped popcorn
  • Puffed rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Feeding bones

Raw meaty bones such as chicken necks and wings can help in keeping teeth and gums healthy however it is important to make sure the bone is long enough so it cannot be accidentally swallowed whole. Ingestion of raw bones can lead to constipation so always discard the bone after a time and never feed cooked bones as they can splinter and cause intestinal obstruction.

Tinned sardines, tuna, or salmon can be offered as an occasional treat but should not be given as a regular food source and always removing any bones.

If you need further support around this issue, book an appointment to speak with a Your PetPA veterinarian or nurse via our website or App. Personalised nutrition advice is especially recommended if your dog or cat has a health condition or special dietary needs.

Shop at Your PetPA online store for pet food and treats. Thriving Pets+ members receive 10% discount on all purchases.


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Grooming your pet

Grooming your pet at home can be something that is enjoyable for both you and your fur baby, especially if you start from a young age allowing them the time to become familiar with the process and sensations!

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Bathing and brushing

Bathing is an important aspect of pet care as it not only helps to remove unpleasant odours, excess hair and dirt, but also maintain healthy skin and coat. It can be performed on an as needs basis, however, avoid bathing more frequently than every 2 weeks as excessive bathing can remove important natural oils within the coat.

Types of shampoo and conditioner

Always choose a natural, hypoallergenic pet-approved product. Human shampoos are not acceptable as animals have more sensitive skin and different skin pH than us.

Common shampoo types:

  • General-purpose
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Medicated
  • Oatmeal
  • Flea

If your pet has a skin condition, always ask your veterinarian about the most suitable product.

Tools you will need

  • Bathtub, laundry sink, or large bucket
  • Pet-approved shampoo and conditioner
  • Towel
  • Water source e.g. hose or another bucket of warm water
  • Waterproof brush
  • Treats

How to bathe your pet

Always start bathing your pet from a young age and use treats to help make the experience a positive one. Walking your pet or giving them a play beforehand will help reduce excess energy for bath time!

Washing:

  • Fill the bath with warm water
  • Gently wet the dog’s coat
  • Gently lather in the shampoo
  • Rinse
  • Apply conditioner
  • Rinse again

Drying:

  • Allow your pet to shake off any excess water (most dogs will instinctively do this anyway!)
  • Use a large absorbent towel to pat dry your pet
  • Where a pet cannot comfortably air-dry, using a hairdryer is an option - always have it on a low setting and use it at least 30 cm away from their coat

Brushing your pet

Brushing your pet on a regular basis, between baths, will help keep your pet’s coat healthy and prevent matting. Guidelines as to frequency are as follows:

Coat Type Brushing Frequency
Smooth, short-coats every 3 weeks
Short, dense coats every 1-2 weeks
Long- or double-coats weekly
Puppies weekly

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Trimming hair

Depending on the breed of your faithful friend, seeing a professional groomer may or may not be on your care list! Some of these pets also require regular hair trims between professional grooming sessions to help maintain hygiene and prevent irritation.

Areas commonly affected:

  • Eyes
  • Anus
  • Chin
  • Toes
  • Other areas that mat

Tips:

  • Only attempt this at home if your pet is calm
  • Never use pointy scissors, only blunt or round-ended
  • Use food treats to help associate trimming with positive rewards

Shop at Your PetPA Online Store for all your grooming needs. Thriving Pets+ members receive 10% discount on all purchases.

~ Dr Clementine Barton


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Dental Care

From a young age, we learn that looking after our teeth and yearly dental check-ups are extremely important for maintaining optimal dental health. However, we aren’t always told that it’s just as important for our beloved pets to have similar care and treatment!

Dental disease is the number one health condition diagnosed in our pets...  Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have a degree of dental disease, which only becomes more severe with age. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable in pets, and with proper dental care you can prevent your pet from developing a wide variety of dental health issues (and pain) related to the condition.

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What is dental disease?

Just like in humans, dental disease in animals is caused by the build-up of dental plaque and tartar on the teeth, which triggers inflammation and can negatively affect the health of the teeth, gums and surrounding bone structures.

The mouth begins to smell, and it is often incredibly painful for our companions with some pets stopping eating to minimise pain they feel when chewing. In turn, weight loss can be the first obvious health issue however, without veterinary treatment, dental disease can also lead to gum infections, bone loss, loss of teeth and over time, other serious health problems.

Common signs of dental disease:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Unwillingness to eat hard food
  • Drooling
  • Bad breath
  • Plaque or tartar build-up on teeth
  • Swollen, red, or bleeding gums
  • Missing or broken teeth
  • Weight loss
  • Pawing at mouth

Bad breath

As with people, occasional bad breath can occur (especially after eating tuna or some wet foods), however, ongoing bad breath can indicate a problem.

Common causes of bad breath:

  • Dental diseases such as gingivitis
  • Stomach or oesophageal problems
  • Eating malodorous food such as garbage or faecal material
  • Intestinal disease
  • Metabolic disease

There are distinct types of bad breath that can indicate serious problems:

  • Sweet breath may indicate diabetes
  • Urine-like breath may indicate liver or kidney disease
  • Foul-smelling can indicate an intestinal problem

Management

To maintain your pet’s dental health, you need to keep their teeth clean. On occasion, your pet may require a veterinary dental procedure. If this is required, you can expect the following:

  • General anaesthesia
  • Oral examination
  • Radiographs depending on the assessment
  • Teeth scaling to remove tartar and plaque
  • Teeth polish
  • Gum irrigation to remove debris and remaining polishing paste
  • Application of anti-plaque system such as an oral sealant
  • Assessment of abnormal gum pockets
  • Tooth and gum procedures depending on findings
  • Administration of pain relief and antibiotics, where required

Home care

Taking care of your pet's teeth at home is extremely important in reducing plaque formation and the development of dental disease – and the earlier you get your fur baby used to it, the better!

Remember only proceed if your pet allows so don’t expect this to be something that can necessarily be introduced overnight.

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Plaque control can be achieved through mechanical removals such as brushing teeth or using dental chews or chemical means using veterinary dental products. Nothing is 100% effective and therefore like us, your pet will still require regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning procedures.

Tooth brushing

  • Brushing your pets’ teeth is the most effective and cheapest form of plaque prevention!
  • Tooth brushing is considered "gold standard" when performed at least once daily.
  • Toothbrushes come in varying sizes and designs: a fine bristle toothbrush head on a standard straight brush is ideal.
  • When using toothpaste, it is important to use a veterinary one as they are flavoured for pets, have low levels of fluoride and do not foam (note: human toothpaste can cause stomach irritation if ingested).
  • Always use a circular sweeping motion, pushing the brush away from the gumline.

Dental Chews

  • The natural chewing motion can help reduce plaque with some dental treats and commercial dry foods also containing chemical plaque control agents.

Chew toys

  • Avoid toys that can be broken into pieces such as plastic or non-durable rubber toys as these can become lodged in your pet's stomach.
  • Be mindful that harder toys such as ropes (plus rocks and sticks) can cause damage to your pet's teeth.

Prevention

Here are the top tips from the Your PetPA veterinary care team in helping prevent dental disease in your loving companion:

  • Daily rinsing and brushing of teeth
  • Hard food such as kibble as it is proven to leave fewer food particles on the teeth than soft food
  • Dental chews
  • Special foods such as veterinary prescription dental diets
  • Annual veterinary dental checks to pick up early disease
  • Veterinary dental cleaning as required
  • Applying sealants (usually applied professionally for the first application and then at home weekly by the owner)
  • Control of diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disease, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Did you know Thriving Pets+ members receive $100 allowance on dental? And 10% discount on all purchases from Your PetPA Online Store?

~ Dr Peter Elliott


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Vaccinations

Vaccinations are the safest and most cost-effective method of preventing infectious disease in our loyal companions. They are quick, painless, and incredibly important to your pets’ health.

The recommended vaccination strategy will differ for each region and your veterinarian will be able to guide you based on the infectious diseases in the area, however what does not change is the recommendation that your pet be vaccinated with boosters administered throughout its’ life.

Depending on the vaccination type, your pet may require boosters every 1 to 3 years.

cat_dog_vaccinationWhy vaccinate?

  • Protect from fatal diseases or long-term health problems
  • Help keep other pets and the community safe through herd immunity
  • Help reduce the prevalence of the disease in the community
  • Prevent transmissible diseases between animals and humans
  • Cost-effective in that it will protect your dog or cat from contracting a preventable illness that may require costly treatment

Vaccination Types

Vaccinations can be divided into two types – core or non-core.

Core vaccinations are those administered to all dogs or cats.

Dog core vaccinations your vet may administer include canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus and canine distemper virus.

Cat core vaccinations your vet may administer include feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus, and feline herpes virus.

Non-Core vaccinations are administered where the pet may be at risk and will depend on the pet’s lifestyle and age, and your geographical location.

Dog non core vaccinations may include, but are not limited to, bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough), canine parainfluenza virus (kennel cough), leptospira and canine influenza virus.

Cat non core vaccinations may include, but are not limited to, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), chlamydia felis and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

Vaccination Schedules

Schedules may vary depending on your veterinary clinic protocol and vaccination type, however they generally follow the below recommended timelines:

Dog

6-8 weeks First Vaccination
10-12 weeks Booster Vaccination
14-16 weeks Final Puppy Vaccination
Yearly Annual Booster Vaccination

Cat

6-8 weeks First Vaccination
10-12 weeks Booster Vaccination
14-16 weeks Final Kitten Vaccination
Yearly Annual Booster Vaccination

Remembering the due date for your pets’ vaccinations is critical to lower the risk of them getting seriously ill and also keep other pets in the community safe.

Your PetPA’s FREE wellness plan offers reminders to ensure that vaccines plus flea, tick and worming preventatives are not forgotten – simply download the APP to register.

~ Dr Mari-Leen Kroezen


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Parasites… Fleas, Ticks and Worms  

They are unwanted visitors, causing issues your fur babies ranging from discomfort to death…. Parasites are bugs that feed off our pets with the most common being fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, heartworm, mites and lice. Some parasites, such as roundworms and tapeworms, can also be transferred from pets to people so as well as preventative treatment, practicing good hygiene is imperative for both you and your pets’ health.

Fleas

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Flea

While infestations peak in summer and autumn, fleas themselves can persist throughout the year in warm winter houses causing skin irritations for both our pets and us. Unfortunately, the fleas you see on your pet are only about 5% of the whole population in your environment i.e. the other 95% are somewhere in your house and garden!

It can take months to clear a home infestation, so there’s no question that prevention is the best treatment. Depending on your preference, flea prevention can be administered as a topical formula that is applied to the skin, as a collar or an oral formula.

Ticks

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Tick

Ticks are nasty parasites that attach themselves to your pet’s skin causing local skin irritation and, in some cases, paralysis and death. Preventative products and environmental control (like cutting back overgrown garden areas) are essential to keeping our pets safe. Depending on your preference, flea prevention can be administered as a topical formula that is applied to the skin, as a collar, or an oral formula.

Heartworm

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Mosquitoes transmit heartworm

Heartworm is a deadly parasite transmitted by mosquitoes so good heartworm prevention not only includes regular preventative medication, but also mosquito control.

Depending on your preference, heartworm prevention can be administered as a tablet or chewable, topical treatment, or injectable formula.
Heartworm is not found in Tasmania or central desert areas in Australia however is prevalent throughout other geographical locations across the country. Incidence of heartworm has also not been recorded in New Zealand.

Worming

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Worms

Dogs and cats should be wormed on a regular basis from a young age as most infections are acquired from the garden, local park, or other places that dogs and cats visit.

Depending on your preference, worming can be administered in a paste, granule, tablet, or chewable formula and the frequency of administration can vary from 1-3 months.

When choosing the most appropriate preventative plan for your fur baby, considerations your veterinarian or nurse will raise are your pets:

  • Species
  • Age
  • Tolerance to tablets, chewable and topical treatments

As well as considerations around:

  • Other household pets e.g. some products should not be used in the presence of household cats due to potential toxicity issues
  • Specific parasites you should protect against i.e. Is there paralysis ticks in your area? Do you live in a geographical area with incidence of heartworm?

Here at Your PetPA, with our Thriving Pets and Thriving Pets+ wellness plans, we offer Annual Preventatives Package delivery services for flea, tick and heartworm preventative medications - plus reminders to ensure they are not forgotten. Curated to your pets breed and weight and delivered straight to your front door, take the stress out of owning a pet and enjoy peace of mind knowing veterinary care is available for you anywhere you need it!

~ Dr Lachlan Campbell


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Preventative care for your pets

Preventative health care is just as important for our fur babies as it is for us humans… It is far easier to prevent illness than to treat it. Not only does
preventing illness afford your loving pet a longer and happier life, but it also saves on significant medical bills down the track.

pet_preventative_care_checklistPreventative Care Checklist for Cats and Dogs

Here at Your PetPA, we don’t just leave you as pet parents with this checklist in the hope of avoiding medical crises in future… We offer Pet Wellness Plans to ensure that vaccines, flea and tick medication and worming preventatives are not forgotten, as well as tangible support for affordable preventative health care assessment and services.

~ Dr Clementine Barton


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Pet parenting checklist and how an annual plan can help

Between family, work, friends and everything in between… life is busy. There’s almost a sense of gratitude our loyal companions simply take up their loving position at home, not adding to the chaos of ‘who has to be where and when’.

But as a pet owner, there are yearly housekeeping reminders that must be remembered to maintain basic health, safety and wellbeing of your fur baby.

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Parenting checklist

1. Yearly Vaccination

Annual vaccination is a must for pets to ensure they remain healthy and protected from deadly viruses in the environment. If not carried out on time, your pet is at risk of contracting the diseases from other unprotected or contagious animals and potentially becoming very unwell.

2. Yearly preventative care

Preventative care, just like vaccinations, is an ongoing requirement for your pet to maintain health and wellbeing. As a minimum your pet will need regular doses of flea and tick treatment, intestinal worming tablets and in some geographical locations, heartworm prevention too.

3. Microchipping details

Have you moved houses recently or changed mobile numbers? If you have then it is likely you have forgotten that there is a chip inside your pet that contains all of your old information. It is important that if ownership of the animal or contact details have recently
changed, that this information is updated through the states microchipping platform as soon as possible.

4. Yearly pet registration

If you choose to own a pet, then you must abide by local council laws and registration for animals. If registration is not performed yearly, you risk a hefty fine by the Animal Management Council. Registration also helps reuniting lost pets with their owners.

5. ID Tags

ID tags are the best way to prevent your pet from ending up at veterinary clinic or local pound. Sometimes tags can get scratched, fade or break off and your pet can no longer be identified. To ensure you can be contacted if required, ensure you pets tag is still easy to
read and updated with any changes.

There’s nothing worse than reoccurring guilt when you can’t recall the last time you gave your fur baby their flea treatment or worming tablet, and was it September or December that they needed their yearly vaccine? Even more confronting though, is when you suddenly notice that your once active puppy or kitten, has now reached its’ senior years.

Your PetPA allows you to keep on top of these things year after year! Our goal is to ensure that every pet is living its best and healthiest life for its life stage and to provide you with all your pet care needs at the tip of your fingers.

We offer Vet Care Plans designed by our qualified and experienced veterinary staff and individually tailored to your pets age, breed and lifestyle.

Vet Care Plan

At Your PetPA, we understand that even if animals are the same species, breed and age, each pet is unique and to maintain their optimum health, requires a customized vet care plan suitable for its health care needs and life stage. Our annual vet care plan provides you with yearly wellness advice tailored specifically to your pet.

By arranging an annual vet care plan, our experienced staff can remind you of all the recommended veterinary advice for your pet including preventative care, life stage recommendations and diet suitability. With detailed individualised vet care plan sent to you directly, you will always be conscious of your pets needs to maintain a long healthy life.

Thriving Pets+

We take pride in knowing that our Pet Wellness Plan – Thriving Pets+ offer all the necessary care in one simple plan, taking the stress out of owning a pet and providing peace of mind knowing veterinary care is available for you anywhere you need it!

What's included?

  • Unlimited consultations - Wherever you go no matter where you are, your consultation fee is covered and guarantees you unlimited consults for when your pet needs them.
  • Unlimited Vet Chats – Available from your phone or computer, you can speak to a member of our veterinary team anytime. Simply book online.
  • Annual Vaccination – The cost of your pets’ annual vaccination is included!
  • Dental Allowance – Dental prophylaxis is one of the most important preventative procedures you can provide your pet. We offer discounts towards the procedure to help cover the costs.
  • Wellness Screen Allowance – Annual blood tests are the only way to fully understand just how healthy your pet is. Some illnesses are only determined with blood results and so performing annual blood tests are beneficial for all pets no matter the age.
  • Option for Add-On Annual Preventatives Package – Posted directly to you, we deliver your pets preventive care straight to your front door.

~ Dr Lachlan Campbell


pet-obesity

Maintaining a healthy weight for my cat or dog

Maintaining a healthy weight for your pet isn’t always as straightforward as ‘just don’t feed it too much’. Some pet owners can be in the opposite position with their pet struggling to gain weight. Regardless of what end of the spectrum your fur baby is on, maintaining a healthy weight can be the difference between your pet living a long and healthy life or being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

Why is maintaining a healthy weight so important?

maintaining a healthy weight of your pets

Pets are considered overweight when they become 10%–20% heavier than their ideal weight. Overweight and underweight pets are predisposed to various diseases and disorders that can ultimately shorten their lifespan.

Pet obesity increases the risk and prevalence of metabolic disorders, endocrine disease, reproductive disorders, cardiopulmonary disease, urinary disorders, dermatological disease, arthritis, and neoplasia. Whilst nutrition deficiency can lead to chronic gastrointestinal problems, depression, skin and coat issues, brain development, vision impairment and poor immune system.

Both are major health concerns, and both are treated differently over a long period of time and in some cases for life.

How can I know if my pet is at a healthy weight?

Determining the ideal weight for your pet is subjective with many ideal breed weight references and pet body scoring systems available. Within clinics, veterinarians may refer to a body score chart to visually demonstrate where your pet sits on this scale and where the aim would be to have them.

The Body Condition System uses visual inspection and sense of touch to help specify if your pet is considered too thin, at an ideal weight or too heavy. Within these categories, your vet will determine the severity by providing a specific Body Chart Score (BCS) from generally 1 to 9.

The ribs, waistline and tummy will be visually assessed and lightly examined to determine if your pet is over or underweight.

Canine Body Scoring

Starting with the ribs, you should be able to easily palpate these with only minimal amounts of fat covering the area. By viewing the waste line from above, an inward curve behind the ribs should be seen. From the side of your dog, a slight ‘abdominal tuck’ should be seen behind the ribs. If your dog is overweight, it will have excess fat covering the ribs and the waistline or abdominal tuck will not be seen.

Body Condition Score of a Medium Dog

Feline Body Scoring

Similarly, to performing a canine BCS you will not be able to easily palpate the ribs or backbone of an overweight cat. Overweight cats will not have that subtle abdominal tuck that meet their hips but rather a tummy that drags all the way down and may swing when they walk. Feline Body Scoring

 

How can I help manage my pet’s weight?

Come up with a plan

There are many factors as to why your loving companion may be overweight or underweight, and therefore veterinary advice should be sort out before developing a weight management plan.

Although diet plays a large part in the cause of weight problems for our pets, some breeds are predisposed, and some medications are known to cause weight gain. If a medical condition is causing your pet to gain weight, you need to work with your veterinarian to come up with a treatment plan that will manage the condition and help your pet lose those extra kilos.

Determine a daily feeding requirement

Depending on your pets age, life stage and current weight situation, this will determine what food is suitable for your pet and the amount it will need to maintain a healthy weight.

Premium diets are designed to make your pet feel fuller for longer by using ingredients rich with nutrients and amino acids. Investing in a veterinary-approved diet is going to ensure your pet is receiving the correct amount of food for its body weight goals, support the immune system and help with signs of aging.

Your veterinary clinic can help offer advice on suitable food and the recommended amount noting the daily recommended amount and food type can be subject to change as your pet starts to lose or gain weight.

Exercise

Daily activity and exercise can be more of a challenge to implement depending on the breed of your pet. Some breeds are more active than others so encouraging or increasing exercise may not be easy or in some cases, even possible so it’s important to always start slow and increase slightly to prevent injury or an aversion towards it. Incorporating some fun games or playing with other animals can be an easy way to encourage some movement and increase activity levels.

Weight checks

Once you have determined how much weight your pet needs to lose or gain, monitoring and measuring the weight of your pet regularly is the simplest way to know if you’re on track and if any updates are needed to the weight management plan.